As we make our way through the month of October, harvest time grows near for outdoor cannabis crops. With growing cannabis being only half the battle of achieving the desired outcome, we felt it would be helpful to break down the steps to building the ideal cannabis “dry room”.
How to build a dry room for your harvest.
Once the dry room is clean it is time to start bringing in the items you need. Keep in mind that what you will need will be based on the size of your room.
It is very important to clean your dry room before moving in any equipment or plants. This includes sanitizing the floors and walls to ensure that there are no mold spores or bacteria lingering in the space.
When it comes to a drying style, there are three main ways of going about this process. There is the whole plant limb style where you hang all or most of the plants in full form, with branches and leaves still intact.
- Make sure you have a dark room that doesn’t have any light leaks. Having a sealed room will also help keep moisture out.
- Make sure your room is equipped with electrical to power the fans, dehumidifier and heater/AC.
- Use heater(s) for winter season drying and an A/C unit for summer season
- Make sure you have fans to circulate air throughout the dry room. It is wise to have fans blowing from the ground and from the ceiling to keep the air moving in both directions.
- Have some tool or monitoring system that can keep track of the humidity and temperature in your dry room as these play a major role in the drying of your buds.
- A dehumidifier(s) is also necessary to help pull the moisture out of the room
- To reduce the smell coming from your dry room you may want to consider using a fan with a carbon filter.
The style we would like to outline here is the whole plant/large branch drying method during the
winter/outdoor harvest season.
Lastly, there is the option of “bucking” (separating the buds from the leaves, stems, and branches) and spreading the buds evenly around “high-rise dry racks” that hang from the ceiling. This method is ideal for those planning to use trim machines as their trimming process. If you choose this method, ensure that you are moving the nugs around in the dry racks at least once a day so that mold does not develop.
Another style would be breaking down the plants to smaller branches and taking the time to de-leaf the large fan leaves from the branches, leaving mostly buds, stems and branches.
Find out how to build the most efficient dry room for your cannabis harvest this season!
Once you’ve put your buds in their final containers you’ll need to keep an eye on them every day until they’re completely dry. Every 24h you should open the jar at least once to let the air filter out and to check if it’s still too humid or if the process is going nicely. The first day that you put the buds in the jar the weed should be almost dry, but the next day when you open it you’ll know if you got the timing right:
Honestly, the best way to dry your buds properly is to work from experience; you need to know what space to use and how many days it takes to dry in that particular space so that you can pick the exact spot where to hang your bud and know exactly when to put them in glass jars to cure them. It’s honestly easier than it looks; you just have to follow some simple steps and you’ll have top quality buds once they’re dry! Keep in mind that the process of drying and curing should take about a month, although it can be accelerated if you’re desperate to smoke but the quality and taste will be far inferior, so if you’re going to do that don’t do it with the entire harvest, just enough to tide you over until it’s all dry and ready to smoke.
Everyone wants to have their harvest dry as soon as possible, but patience is needed in this lengthy process; why would you spend months taking care of a plant to speed up the drying process? Usually, to get top quality product you should dry it for a week to a month, no more and no less. If it dries before then, then the place you’ve chosen to dry it isn’t adequate; it might be too hot, or there might be a breeze (something you need to avoid) and this will make your weed end up tasting green, like chlorophyll. If it takes too long to dry there might be too much humidity in the area, and your buds might end up full of fungi and rot.
To do this right you’ll need to trim your plants and take away the leaves so that the plants can dry properly and look nicer once they’re dry. If your plant is very big, you can cut the branches off and hang them like a washing line or in a drying sock, somewhere where there isn’t any light and the temperature doesn’t go above 25º. Make sure there’s no heavy air flow, but at the same time no pockets of stagnant air that can create humidity. Once a few days have gone by and depending on the outdoor
- If you put it in too early, your buds will be extremely soft as if you just harvested them. If this happens to you, you might need to put the buds back in the drying sock for them to dry properly. It gets so soft because you took it down too early and there’s still too much humidity in the trunk.
- If you’ve taken them down too late, your bud will be much too dry and the humidity won’t be able to rot the chlorophyll and the weed will still be green looking and green smelling, so you’ll be left with weed that tastes like leaves.
- If you’ve done it at exactly the right time, the weed should be spongy, not completely dry but not completely humid either, just a bit soft. After a few days of opening it up for 5 mins a day, your cannabis should be completely dry and you can close the container for as long as you want.
Drying cannabis is an extremely important step that determines the quality of your weed. If you don’t dry it properly you could end up ruining your entire harvest that took you months to complete, so you’ll need to take care when drying your buds.
Don’t forget to open it up for a few minutes every day to make sure it’s drying properly and let some of the humidity out. If you detect any sort of mildew of fungi, remove it immediately from the container as it could end up completely rotting your bud. Once it’s completely dry you can keep it for years in the container, as long as you’d like.
Things to keep in mind when drying cannabis:
- When you harvest your plants the soil needs to be completely dry, and you run the risk of rot.
- When you’re drying your cannabis, you should never use dehumidifiers; only use them in particular cases when you know there is a lot of humidity and you’ve checked that your weed won’t dry there even in a month. Be careful though, as you’ll end up heating up the area and your weed might dry too fast.
- You shouldn’t use fans in your drying area, as it will dry your weed too fast just like a dehumidifier and you won’t be able to cure it properly.
- Never use cardboard boxes or drawers to dry your cannabis because it will probably end up covered in rot and mildew.
- Make sure that the branches aren’t touching each other when you hand them up, because this creates more humidity which can lead to rot, and rot can easily spread from one plant to another if they’re touching.
- Do not harvest your plant if you’ve just used any product on it, especially if it’s a fungicide or pesticide, as the flavor will stick around in the final product and could end up ruining your entire harvest.
When drying cannabis a certain level of patience is needed if you want to get the best out of your weed in as far as aroma, taste and effect.